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At what point does focusing on your finances/ER become counter-productive?
Old 06-18-2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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At what point does focusing on your finances/ER become counter-productive?

I seem to go in cycles. For a few months at a time, I just roll with the punches...and stick with my somewhat automated financial strategies. But then for months at a time, I am constantly thinking about my finances, investments, savings, ER goals, my current businesses' success, new possible income streams, etc. CONSTANTLY. Obsessing you might call it. I'm on the internet, often at this site, all day and night... usually until 3 in the morning.



After a few months though, I get so fed up with myself, the numbers and even the strain on my brain, that I just let it go.


Then the cycle continues
I cant see how this culd be healthy for me....and I know it's all mental....but I'm having a tough time finding the right balance of caring enough but not too much.

Does anyone else struggle with this?
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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Come on guys. Is it something I said? Its been 18 seconds and nobody has replied....
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:11 PM   #3
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guys gals?

anyone













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Old 06-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #4
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Simple answer --- when you start a thread asking if it's counterproductive. Been through it bro. Just live your life, progress your career and save. The rest is out of your hands.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:42 PM   #5
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Have to admit, that I've done that also. Having watched benefited from watching the dialogue that has occurred for many months, I've allowed myself to drift off to other topics, and not run the spreadsheets so much. It's also helped, in that I finally put a lot of the anticipated results into continually updating graphs, so that as I make a change, it's reflected in the graph. Somehow looking at a graph and observing that most of the changes that I make, don't cause major changes in the lines moving around, has allowed me to obsess less about each little point. Guess it's the trees and forest thing. Anyway, you might try that, if you haven't already, and see if that helps you get to sleep earlier.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:06 PM   #7
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Yes, I've definitely been there. It gets to a point where there's really nothing else to do/calculate/tweak, etc., so then I start on the fantasy scenarios: "ok, what if I suddently inherit $50k? How would I invest it?? How would that affect my retirement??"

And then I leave it behind for a while, and surprisingly, the world doesn't fall apart. You'd be amazed how upbeat the financial news is when you're not reading it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed View Post
I seem to go in cycles. For a few months at a time, I just roll with the punches...and stick with my somewhat automated financial strategies. But then for months at a time, I am constantly thinking about my finances, investments, savings, ER goals, my current businesses' success, new possible income streams, etc. CONSTANTLY. Obsessing you might call it. I'm on the internet, often at this site, all day and night... usually until 3 in the morning.



After a few months though, I get so fed up with myself, the numbers and even the strain on my brain, that I just let it go.


Then the cycle continues
I cant see how this culd be healthy for me....and I know it's all mental....but I'm having a tough time finding the right balance of caring enough but not too much.

Does anyone else struggle with this?
Jion the Club!
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:10 AM   #9
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Yes, I've definitely been there. It gets to a point where there's really nothing else to do/calculate/tweak, etc., so then I start on the fantasy scenarios: "ok, what if I suddently inherit $50k? How would I invest it?? How would that affect my retirement??"


oh, ive been THERE!
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:28 AM   #10
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I invest for a living, so it is hard to let it go.

The discipline I stick to is that I will pay close attention to my investments (actively managed), but I don't track progress towards FIRE except twice a year. I have a simplistic spreadsheet that I update in January (after bonus time) and some time in the summer (July/August). I save each update so I can see how far I have come, but that's it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:35 AM   #11
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I get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of my ER planning. I have broken down my big goals into smaller sub-goals (such as monthly expenses), and it is exhilarating to find out that I have saved more in a given month than I had planned, or that my 401K has appreciated/grown at a faster rate than I had originally assumed.

Sometimes I do wonder what I will do for fun after ER, other than plan for ER!! In fact, earlier this week I mentioned RPGs to Frank, who thought only of Rocket Propelled Grenades. Poor guy doesn't know what he is missing. I explained them to him, and how much fun I think they are.

Then it occurred to me that playing RPG's is something I love to do, but has been displaced by ER planning and the demands of working life - - so guess where I have been lately, after work? Off playing an old PC RPG that I never finished (Icewind Dale), and having a blast!!! I still come here every day and post, but for a brief time I have added a little more balance in my life.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:16 AM   #12
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What are RPG's ?
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:39 AM   #13
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You poor, deprived person!

RPG's are Role Playing Games. They are computer games similar to Dungeons and Dragons. In these games you choose the characters' attributes, names, appearance, and often even clothing. Then you fight monsters and when they die, you get their weapons, armor, money, and other loot. You can go to stores and buy fancier weapons and armor, wands, spells, potions, and such (love the shopping!), and then you can fight stronger monsters. Usually there is a lot of magic and lore associated with the game, and the fantasy lands in which you fight have an entire history that is woven throughout the game. There are often books that your character might find, that explain the history and lore and reading them is fascinating and helpful in figuring out what you need to know in order to reach the ultimate goal. Your characters are good, evil, lawful, chaotic, or whatever, and the way in which you approach problems usually reflects that. A good mage can cast spells that do more for you than the strongest longsword. All of this is on the computer.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:42 AM   #14
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RPG's are Role Playing Games. They are computer games similar to Dungeons and Dragons. In these games you choose the characters' attributes, names, appearance, and often even clothing. Then you fight monsters and when they die, you get their weapons, armor, money, and other loot. You can go to stores and buy fancier weapons and armor, wands, spells, potions, and such (love the shopping!), and then you can fight stronger monsters. Usually there is a lot of magic and lore associated with the game, and the fantasy lands in which you fight have an entire history that is woven throughout the game.
We have a similar role playing game where I work, except we call them design Reviews and performance evaluations. Other than that they are very very similar to what you have described.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:50 AM   #15
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We have a similar role playing game where I work, except we call them design Reviews and performance evaluations. Other than that they are very very similar to what you have described.
Thanks for this reminder of my past employment...had me laughing out loud!
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:53 AM   #16
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I've played a lot of Role Playing Games .I've just always called it dating !
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:57 AM   #17
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Big difference between following your investments regularly and learning about retirement planning on the one hand, versus obsessing over them, tweaking needlessly, and getting on the emotional roller coaster each time something changes on the other.

I do follow my returns and balances with interest, maybe once or twice a week. I've never really worried too much about them other than wishing I had more .

Funny thing is, my worry level went down considerably when I switched from an advisor to doing it on my own.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:06 AM   #18
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We have a similar role playing game where I work, except we call them design Reviews and performance evaluations. Other than that they are very very similar to what you have described.
I'd love to have an elfin mage by my side at work! Imagine what could be done with just a wave of his wand, with a cryptic incantation or two.

Then we could all go on vacation.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #19
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Well you're asking the question and you can explain the symptoms so the good news is sounds like you are still in charge of you.

Look at your plan, make sure the risk tolerance is comfortable for you and then just feed the thing.

Remember the old Chevy commercial "getting there is half the fun" the most financially successful person I know says "getting there is all the fun".

Go play with your son. I assume that is a big motivation to retire early so you can do what you want when you want, so do it now.

I hardly qualify as a new ager but DW and I have taken yoga class at the Y anything I can do to get in the moment (rather than future worries etc.). Meditation can be as easy as a focused eight count. When your feeling unusually tense.

Of course if none of the above is helpful just go with aging. I was a very tense 20 & 30 year old (much like you're decribing) at least with finance and at 44 seem to have mellowed out.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:34 AM   #20
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I had a period where I obsessed, when I was first setting up my retirement spreadsheet. Then, once I decided I was comfortable with it, I decided not to look at it too often. Once every few months gives me a sense of where I wanted to be at the end of each year, to see how I'm doing.

I set up everything to be automatic, so that I don't have to obsess too often. Savings are taken out every paycheck and moved to the right accounts. I update my investments on a monthly basis, and probably take a peak once a week or so. I don't look on days the market is down.

I guess now that my goals are set up, I feel comfortable letting it happen. That doesn't mean that I don't visit these boards everyday, or get excited when a friend needs a place to live for a few months because it means extra money that can go right to savings....

Karen - with temporary roommate.
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